From kicking specialists to soon-to-be Pirate signees to exuberant youngsters and women ready to take the field and play more football, first-year East Carolina coach Mike Houston is using June and July to welcome all kinds of campers to ECU football's facilities and fields.
Last week provided a special time for youngsters who attended Houston's first Jr. Pirate Camp. It included the kids, from first through eighth grade, getting to test their passing and running skills inside the Pirates' 50,000-seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Camp sessions were held during the early part of the week.
ECU Ladies Clinic is scheduled for July 26 from 4:30-8 p.m. The price is $75.
Houston was hired by East Carolina on Dec. 3 after a successful stint at James Madison that included JMU beating ECU in Greenville and winning the 2016 Football Championship Subdivision national championship. The Franklin native owns an 80-25 career head coaching record.
The Pirates completed another prospect camp and also the annual Beast of the East 7-on-7 passing tournament in the past few days. The passing tournament provides a prime opportunity for ECU to evaluate prospects and for the high school teams to test their offensive and defensive skill players against others for valuable summer offseason work.
Those weekend events came one week after the Pirates welcomed recruits to campus on official visits and received some verbal commitments toward the team's next recruiting class. The Pirates' recruiting and camp staff includes inside receivers/tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Fontel Mines and J.P. Gunter, who is director of player personnel and recruiting.
Basketball and baseball camps also will continue at ECU this summer.
Cliff Godwin baseball camps ramp up soon and a second youth camp session is scheduled for July 8-12. The third session is July 22-26. Those camps again will include slip-n-slide sliding sessions for kids.
Joe Dooley basketball camps also started in Minges Coliseum. More day sessions for campers ages 6 to 16, scheduled for July 22-25, are set to feature fundamental skill development along with guest speakers and 5-on-5 games.